You knew this day would arrive eventually.
Despite all the available resources, the latest treatments and your willingness to pay whatever it takes, the time has come to say goodbye.
It won't be easy my friends. You probably had a good 10 years, even more. All those memories...
Aw, who we kidding, you'll quickly forget once you throw a leg around a current year dirt bike with power and handling like you've never experienced before.
But deciding on the change does take time. If you enjoy wrenching on your ride, weekends were probably spent rebuilding the engine, working on the clutch, changing all the fluids - whatever it takes to get the thing to run again. Thankfully, even machines have a way to tell us when to let go.
However, in our effort to keep the past alive and put off doling out the money for a new dirt bike, you sometimes spend more on a dying ride when you'd be better off investing in something that actually works. So, how do you know when the time has come to put your old dirt bike out to pasture and find a new steed to mount up?
Replacing an Old Dirt Bike
We rounded up a few MotoSport riders who have experienced this difficult decision and asked for their thoughts on the right timing.
1. Damage to Critical Components
You can replace the top-end and bottom-end and a whole host of other parts but when the suspension (damage to fork tubes), frame or engine case gets compromised you need to move on. Expect a hard time finding replacement parts and an even harder time finding someone with the skills to make the switch if you decide to continue the misery. And if you can accomplish all this, you ride not knowing the integrity of the bike and will always wonder if that next jump might be your last.
2. Phantom Problems
Some days it runs some does it doesn't. Some days you get a solid 30 minutes before it dies and then won't fire up. You strip it down, rebuild it same thing all over again. A mechanic can't answer the problem, either. This dirt bike has a mind all its own. End your frustration, sell the bike to the highest bidder and get something that works.
3. You Changed
It's not you, it's me. The old refrain when someone tries to break up with another without hurting their feelings. But in this case, it's true. If you used to race Motocross say on a 125 2-stroke but now compete in off-road in the 40+ class you need a new bike if you want a shot at a podium. Trail dirt bikes differ from MX bikes so either sell your old bike or keep it for posterity.
Have you seen the bells and whistles on today's dirt bikes? Electric starts and fuel injection come stock on most models and have nearly, almost revolutionized the sport. OK, maybe not like the 2-stroke to 4-stroke drama but once you experience riding a modern dirt bike you'll wonder why you waited so long.
5. You're Bored
Many car owners replace a perfectly fine running automobile simply out of boredom. So why not a dirt bike? You don't even have to buy a new dirt bike just something different and new to you. A different brand, a different stroke, a different engine size. Whatever floats your carburetor and keeps you interested in riding.
6. Financial Savviness
A couple hundred bucks here, a few hundred there. It all adds up. Spending an afternoon working on mechanical problems sounds like a good day for some riders. Others have no problem doing oil changes and filter replacements but spending money and time on rebuilds feels counterintuitive. If you opt for selling the bike after the second blown engine and using the money saved to invest in something new, you won't find much disagreement here. Some people know when to say when and find the next best thing.
Altogether, no set rules exist on when to buy a new dirt bike. Replacing parts cost less, at least in the short run, and offer the most viable option when money runs tight. But if you have the savings and routinely tap it to keep your old ride running perhaps the time has come to end the financial trickle and ride on something new.